9 Smart Ways to Save Money on Everyday Purchases
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We think and plan ways to save money on large purchases, comparing prices and researching options. But what about small, everyday things? When you can save on all the things that you routinely buy, the total savings can really add up over the course of a month. Here are 8 smart ways to save money on everyday purchases.
Restaurants and Fast Food
1. Ordering combos versus a la carte: Study the menu before just automatically ordering one way or the other. Sometimes a la carte is less expensive, sometimes buying a combo is. It all depends on the sides and sizes of the items and the total cost.
2. Make a meal of sides or appetizers: Restaurants often price their sides and appetizers reasonably and it can occasionally be less expensive to select a few of those, rather than buying full meals.
3. Timing your trips: Offering “happy hour”, “late night” or “early dine” discounts have become increasingly popular, even with fast food restaurants. The items are sometimes smaller versions but buying even two at the special price is usually less expensive, and actually ends up being the more food, than one of the regular-sized portions.
4. Use competitors’ coupons: In some areas, restaurants take competitors’ coupons for items that are the equivalent to their own menu items. Fast food restaurants, in particular, have adopted this practice more and more as competition for consumer dollars has increased. To make sure you’re armed with savings, especially for unplanned restaurant stops on the go, keep current coupons in your vehicle at all times.
Shopping for Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories
5. Shopping online: Use online shopping to both compare prices and expand your opportunities for savings. As long as you’re fairly certain of the fit, or they offer an easy exchange policy, you can save by being able to select the lowest price option from a variety of retailers. Many stores also either offer free shipping or you can pick up at your local store for free.
6. Don’t miss out on coupon codes and cash back: Whenever you search and shop online, be sure to go through companies like Swagbucks.com. With their cash back offers and coupon codes, you can save a lot in just a few more moments before checking out online.
7. Buy consignment: This tried-and-true method has gotten a modern update in recent years by going online. Companies like Swap.com allow you to buy name-brand clothing, shoes, and accessories at a fraction of buying new, while still getting quality pieces. Swap.com even offers other items such as sporting equipment, games, and toys.
How to Get More Coupons
8. Get on the snail mail, email or text list: It can be annoying to be asked your information every time you shop but by being willing to give your basic information, you can score coupons regularly. A lot of companies offer online sign up for their clubs and loyalty programs so check for them before shopping or going out to eat.
9. Simply ask: Stores sometimes have coupons that they can use for you by the registers. Simply asking if there are any or a way you can save more can result in paying up to 30% less.